Ontario Senior Homeowners' Property Tax Grant (OSHPTG) Questions and Answers

  1. What is the Ontario senior homeowners' property tax grant (OSHPTG)?
  2. Am I eligible for the 2018 OSHPTG
  3. How do I apply for the 2018 OSHPTG?
  4. On my 2017 return, can I apply for the 2018 OSHPTG as well as the 2018 Ontario energy and property tax credit (OEPTC), and the 2018 Northern Ontario energy credit (NOEC)?
  5. How much is the OSHPTG?
  6. Do I have to calculate the grant?
  7. When will I get my 2018 OSHPTG payment?
  8. Who will issue the OSHPTG payments?
  9. Does the OSHPTG affect the amount of the Ontario energy and property tax credit I will receive?
  10. My spouse is a senior, and she owns our home but is living in a nursing home. I am not a senior. Are we entitled to the OSHPTG?
  11. My spouse owns our home but is living in a nursing home. My spouse and I are both seniors. Are we entitled to the OSHPTG?
  12. Can an estate apply for an OSHPTG payment for the year of death?
  13. I pay rent. Am I eligible to apply for the OSHPTG?
  14. I rented my home out and moved into my daughter’s house. My daughter is the sole owner of her house. Am I eligible to apply for the OSHPTG?
  15. Can I use the amount of property tax that I paid on a secondary residence, such as a cottage, or on an investment property, when claiming the OSHPTG?
  16. I have not yet filed my 2017 income tax and benefit return. Will I receive a 2018 OSHPTG payment?
  17. I applied for the 2018 OSHPTG on my 2017 return and met all of the conditions to get an OSHPTG payment. However, I didn't receive a payment. What should I do?
  18. I am eligible for an OSHPTG payment but I forgot to apply for it when I filed my prior year income tax and benefit returns. Can I still apply for the grant?
  19. I moved to Ontario from another province on January 5, 2018. Am I eligible for a 2018 OSHPTG payment?
  20. Do I have to be a Canadian citizen to be eligible for a grant?
  21. My address recently changed. What should I do?
  22. I have an outstanding debt with the Canada Revenue Agency and didn't receive my GST credit because I owed money to the Government. Will I receive the OSHPTG?
  23. Is the OSHPTG a taxable benefit?
  24. Will there be interest paid or charged on any OSHPTG underpayments or overpayments?
  25. What are eligible property taxes and what should I enter beside box 6112 on Form ON-BEN?
  26. Do I have to pay my property tax before I can receive the OSHPTG?
  27. When I calculate my 2017 property tax, should I use all of my property taxes or only the education part?
  28. We are planning to sell our home in 2018. Are we still eligible for the 2018 grant?
  29. Can someone receive more property tax support than they paid in property tax?
  30. Can a grant be claimed on more than one principal residence in a tax year?
  31. I am a senior who married another senior on November 28, 2017. We both own principal residences for which we paid property tax in 2017. We will be selling one of our homes in 2018. Can we both apply for the 2018 OSHPTG on our 2017 returns?
  32. Do I have to own my home for a minimum number of years to be eligible to receive a 2018 grant?
  33. If the home is jointly-owned by one senior and one non-senior, will a grant payment be provided to the household?
  34. If the owner of the home is not a senior, but the spouse is a senior, will a grant be provided to the household?
  35. Are seniors living in co-operative buildings eligible for the grant?
  36. I am a senior who lives in a mobile home. Am I eligible for the grant?
  37. I am a senior who lives in a life-lease building. Am I eligible for the grant?
  38. If my application for the grant is denied, can I appeal?
  39. Who should I contact if I have a question about the Ontario provincial government policy on the OSHPTG?

1. What is the Ontario senior homeowners' property tax grant (OSHPTG)?

The OSHPTG is available to Ontario senior homeowners who pay property taxes and who have low or moderate incomes. It is an annual payment that seniors must apply for each year when they file their income tax and benefit return.

Note

  • You may also be eligible for the 2018 Ontario energy and property tax credit (OEPTC) if you lived in Ontario on December 31, 2017, and at least one of the following applies:
    • rent or property tax for your principal residence in Ontario was paid by or for you for 2017;
    • accommodation costs for living in a public or non-profit long-term care home in Ontario were paid by or for you for 2017;
    • home energy costs (for example, electricity, heat) for your principal residence on a reserve were paid by or for you in Ontario for 2017; or
    • you lived in a designated university, college, or private school residence in Ontario in 2017.
  • You may also be eligible for the 2018 Northern Ontario energy credit (NOEC) if you resided in Northern Ontario on December 31, 2017 and you (or someone on your behalf) paid:
    • rent or property tax for your principal residence in Northern Ontario for 2017;
    • accommodation costs for living in a public or non-profit long-term care home in Northern Ontario for 2017; or
    • home energy costs for your principal residence on a reserve in Northern Ontario for 2017.

2. Am I eligible for the 2018 OSHPTG?

You are eligible for the grant if all of the following conditions apply to you. You:

  • were at least 64 years old on December 31, 2017;
  • were a resident of Ontario on December 31, 2017;
  • or your spouse or common-law partner owned and occupied a principal residence on December 31, 2017, for which you or someone on your behalf paid Ontario property tax for 2017;
  • were not confined to a prison or similar institution on December 31, 2017, and for the next 179 days; and
  • file a 2017 income tax and benefit return in which you include an application for the OSHPTG.

3. How do I apply for the 2018 OSHPTG?

To apply for the 2018 OSHPTG, you have to file a 2017 income tax and benefit return and complete the Application for the Ontario senior homeowners' property tax grant (OSHPTG) area on Form ON-BEN, Application for the 2018 Ontario Trillium Benefit and Ontario Senior Homeowners' Property Tax Grant.

You must answer the question "Are you applying for the 2018 OSHPTG?" by ticking box 6113 and then provide the amount of your 2017 eligible property tax paid beside box 6112 in Part A on page 2 of the form. See question 23 for details on the amount to enter for eligible property tax.

Note

If you were married or living in a common-law relationship on December 31, 2017, the following rules apply:

  • only one spouse or common-law partner can apply for the grant for both of you;
  • if only one spouse or common-law partner was 64 years of age or older on December 31, 2017, that spouse or common-law partner has to apply for both of you;
  • only the spouse or common-law partner who applies for the 2018 Ontario energy and property tax credit (by ticking box 6118 on Form ON-BEN) and the 2018 Northern Ontario energy credit (by ticking box 6119) can claim the 2018 OSHPTG;
  • you must provide your spouse's or common-law partner's net income in the Identification area on page 1 of your 2017 return; and
  • if your principal residence is jointly owned with one or more persons other than your spouse or common-law partner, you are eligible to claim the OSHPTG only for your share of the property taxes for the year.

If you were married or living in a common-law relationship on December 31, 2017, the following rules apply:

  • only one spouse or common-law partner can apply for the grant for both of you;
  • if only one spouse or common-law partner was 64 years of age or older on December 31, 2017, that spouse or common-law partner has to apply for both of you;
  • only the spouse or common-law partner who applies for the 2018 Ontario energy and property tax credit (by ticking box 6118 on Form ON-BEN) and the 2018 Northern Ontario energy credit (by ticking box 6119) can claim the 2018 OSHPTG;
  • you must provide your spouse's or common-law partner's net income in the Identification area on page 1 of your 2017 return; and
  • if your principal residence is jointly owned with one or more persons other than your spouse or common-law partner, you are eligible to claim the OSHPTG only for your share of the property taxes for the year.

4. On my 2017 return, can I apply for the 2018 OSHPTG as well as the 2018 Ontario energy and property tax credit (OEPTC), and the 2018 Northern Ontario energy credit (NOEC)?

Yes. As long as you meet the eligibility criteria for each claim, you can apply for all of these amounts on your 2017 return.

However, if you were married or living in a common-law relationship on December 31, 2017, the same spouse or common-law partner has to apply for the 2018 OSHPTG, the 2018 OEPTC, and the 2018 NOEC.

5. How much is the 2018 OSHPTG?

The grant you receive depends on the property tax paid, your adjusted family net income, and your marital status. The maximum 2018 OSHPTG payment is the lesser of $500 and the eligible property tax paid by or for you for 2017.

If you are single, separated, divorced, or widowed, your 2018 grant will be the maximum payment reduced by 3.33% of your adjusted net income over $35,000. If your adjusted net income is $50,000 or more, you are not entitled to a grant.

If you are married or living in a common-law relationship, your 2018 grant will be the maximum payment reduced by 3.33% of your adjusted family net income over $45,000. If your adjusted family net income is $60,000 or more, you are not entitled to a grant.

6. Do I have to calculate the grant?

No. After you have applied, the grant will be calculated for you and, if you are entitled, a payment will be issued. If you applied and are not entitled, in most cases, you will receive a notice explaining why.

You can use our Child and family benefits calculator to estimate the amount of your OSHPTG.

7. When will I get my 2018 OSHPTG payment?

If you meet the eligibility requirements above, you should get your 2018 OSHPTG payment within four to eight weeks after you receive your 2017 notice of assessment. If you already receive your income tax refund or other benefits or credits by direct deposit, you will also receive your OSHPTG payment by direct deposit. Otherwise, you will receive your payment by cheque.

8. Who will issue the OSHPTG payments?

The Canada Revenue Agency (CRA) will issue the OSHPTG payments for the Ontario provincial government.

9. Does the OSHPTG affect the amount of the Ontario energy and property tax credit I will receive?

The amount of your 2018 OSHPTG may reduce the amount you will be entitled to receive for the property tax component of your 2018 OEPTC. Your 2018 OEPTC will only be affected if the property tax component of your 2018 OEPTC plus your 2018 OSHPTG exceeds your property tax paid for 2017. However, as for most seniors, your 2018 OSHPTG payment will not affect your 2018 OEPTC payment.

If you are married or living in a common-law relationship, the spouse or common law-partner who applies for the 2018 OSHPTG is the only one who can apply for the 2018 OEPTC for the couple on his or her 2017 return.

10. My spouse is a senior, and she owns our home but is living in a nursing home. I am not a senior. Are we entitled to the OSHPTG?

Your spouse is the only one who meets the age eligibility requirement for the OSHPTG.

As long as you continued to occupy the home that was owned by you and/or your spouse, and did so on December 31, 2017, your senior spouse can apply for the OSHPTG.

However, if you and your spouse tick box 6108 on Form ON-BEN, Application for the 2018 Ontario Trillium Benefit and Ontario Senior Homeowners' Property Tax Grant to apply individually for the Ontario Energy and Property Tax Credit, the Northern Ontario Energy Credit, or the OSHPTG, neither of you will be eligible for the OSHPTG.

11. My spouse owns our home but is living in a nursing home. My spouse and I are both seniors. Are we entitled to the OSHPTG?

Yes. As long as you continued to occupy the home that was owned by your spouse, and did so on December 31, 2017, either of you can apply for the OSHPTG. Since both of you are seniors, either one of you can apply for the grant. However, the same spouse or common-law partner has to apply for the 2018 OSHPTG, the 2018 OEPTC, and the 2018 NOEC.

If you and your spouse tick box 6108 on Form ON-BEN, Application for the 2018 Ontario Trillium Benefit and Ontario Senior Homeowners' Property Tax Grant to apply individually for the Ontario Energy and Property Tax Credit, the Northern Ontario Energy Credit, or the OSHPTG, only the spouse who lived in the home that you owned in December 31, 2017 can apply for the OSHPTG.

12. Can an estate apply for an OSHPTG payment for the year of death?

Yes. The estate of an eligible taxpayer (see question 2) who dies at any time during 2018 can apply for the 2018 OSHPTG on a 2017 income tax and benefit return for the deceased taxpayer. The payment will be issued to the estate. However, if the taxpayer died during 2017, the estate cannot apply for the 2018 grant.

13. I pay rent. Am I eligible to apply for the OSHPTG?

No. To qualify for the OSHPTG, Ontario property tax must be paid on a principal residence you own.

14. I rented my home out and moved into my daughter’s house. My daughter is the sole owner of her house. Am I eligible to apply for the OSHPTG?

No. To qualify for the OSHPTG, you, or your spouse or common law partner, must own and occupy your principal residence on December 31, 2017, and you or someone on your behalf must have paid Ontario property tax on your principal residence for 2017.

15. Can I use the amount of property tax that I paid on a secondary residence, such as a cottage, or on an investment property, when claiming the OSHPTG?

No.  You can claim a grant for property tax paid on your principal residence. When applying for the grant, you cannot claim property tax paid on two or more properties for the same period. If you co-own your primary residence with another person who is not your spouse or common-law partner you could claim relief only for the property tax paid on your share of the property you owned. 

16. I have not yet filed my 2017 income tax and benefit return. Will I receive a 2018 OSHPTG payment?

No. To receive the 2018 OSHPTG, you must file a 2017 income tax and benefit return and complete the application area on Form ON-BEN, Application for the 2018 Ontario Trillium Benefit and Ontario Senior Homeowners' Property Tax Grant. See How do I apply for the 2018 OSHPTG?

17. I applied for the 2018 OSHPTG on my 2017 return and met all of the conditions to get an OSHPTG payment. However, I didn't receive a payment. What should I do?

If you have not received your OSHPTG payment within eight to ten weeks after receiving your 2017 notice of assessment or reassessment, you should call 1-877-627-6645 and an agent will help you.

18. I am eligible for an OSHPTG payment but I forgot to apply for it when I filed my prior year income tax and benefit return(s). Can I still apply for the grant?

Yes. You can request an adjustment for the OSHPTG on your prior year tax return(s) as far back as 2008. Do not file new returns. Instead, you can make your request by using the CRA's My Account online service. My Account is a secure, convenient, and time saving way to access and manage your tax and benefit information online, seven days a week. For information on how to register, see My Account.

If you haven’t signed up for My Account, you can send the following information to your tax centre: a completed Form T1-ADJ, T1 Adjustment Request for each year(s), or a signed letter indicating the years that you want to apply for the OSHPTG. Attach a completed Form ON-BEN to your letter or Form T1-ADJ for the applicable year(s). Your letter or Form ON-BEN should provide the amount of the property tax that was paid for your principal residence in Ontario for each of the tax years. You must also include your supporting receipts. If you were involuntarily separated (see question 10), you would also have to indicate this and provide your spouse's/partner's address.

19. I moved to Ontario from another province on January 5, 2018. Am I eligible for a 2018 OSHPTG payment?

No. You must have been a resident of Ontario on December 31, 2017, to be eligible for a 2018 OSHPTG payment.

20. Do I have to be a Canadian citizen to be eligible for a grant?

 No. The grant is available to you, regardless of citizenship, as long as you are a resident of Ontario and meet the other eligibility criteria. See question 2, Am I eligible for the 2018 grant?

21. My address recently changed. What should I do?

Keep your information up to date. You should give the CRA your new address as soon as possible. Be sure to tell the CRA the exact date of your move.

22. I have an outstanding debt with the CRA and didn't receive my GST credit because I owed money to the Government. Will I receive the OSHPTG?

Your OSHPTG payment will first be used to pay off any debt you owe to the CRA or its external partners, including family support orders that are in arrears. If any amount remains, it will be issued to you.

23. Is the OSHPTG a taxable benefit?

No. The OSHPTG is a non-taxable payment.

24. Will there be interest paid or charged on any OSHPTG underpayments or overpayments?

No. Interest is not charged or given on any OSHPTG underpayments or overpayments.

25. What are eligible property taxes and what should I enter beside box 6112 on Form ON-BEN?

Eligible property tax is the amount of tax that you or someone on your behalf paid in the year for your principal residence in Ontario.

Beside box 6112, you should enter your total property tax paid for your principal residence for 2017, including the municipal and education property taxes. If you reside in an area that does not have a municipal organization, you may include amounts charged under the Provincial Land Tax Act, the Local Roads Boards Act or the Local Services Boards Act.

If you lived with your spouse or common-law partner on December 31, 2017, enter the total property tax paid for the year for both of you (including any amounts paid during a period of separation).

If you and your spouse or common-law partner separated during the year and lived apart on December 31, 2017, enter your share of the property tax for the part of the year before the separation, plus your own property tax paid after the separation.

If you shared and jointly owned a principal residence with one or more persons (other than your spouse or common-law partner), enter your share of the property tax you paid for the year.

If you were a farmer, enter the property tax paid for your principal residence and one acre of land.

If you owned and occupied a mobile home, enter the combined total of the property tax paid for your home plus the property tax that your landlord/site owner paid for the lot you leased. If the landlord does not provide a breakdown of the property tax paid for the lot, and you do not have an assessment for the lot from the Municipal Property Assessment Corporation, you can estimate the property tax based on the fees paid to your landlord/site owner for the lot. It would be reasonable to take 20% of the fees and add that amount to any property tax paid on the mobile home.

26. Do I have to pay my property tax before I can receive the OSHPTG?

Yes. The current-year grant payment is based on the prior year's property tax paid. So, to receive your 2018 grant payment, you or someone on your behalf must have paid your property tax for 2017. If your municipality let you defer paying all or some of your 2017 property tax, you should enter only the amount of property tax actually paid to the municipality for the year.

27. When I calculate my 2017 property tax, should I use all of my property tax or only the education part?

You should use your total property tax paid, including the municipal and education property taxes. If you reside in an area that does not have a municipal organization, you may include amounts charged under the Provincial Land Tax Act, the Local Roads Boards Act, or the Local Services Boards Act.

28. We are planning to sell our home in 2018. Are we still eligible for the 2018 grant?

Yes. The grant is based on occupancy of your residence on December 31, 2017 and the property tax paid on your home for 2017.

29. Can someone receive more property tax support than they paid in property tax?

A grant payment cannot be greater than the property tax paid.

30. Can a grant be claimed on more than one principal residence in a tax year?

You can designate more than one principal residence if you lived in more than one principal residence consecutively in the previous year. However, you can only have one principal residence at a time. For example, on June 15, 2017, Susan sold her large home and moved into a smaller home. Accordingly, in 2017, Susan had two principal residences. However, when she determines her property tax paid for 2017, she would only include the property tax paid on the larger home from January 1, 2017, to June 15, 2017, and on the smaller home from June 16, 2017, to December 31, 2017.

31. I am a senior who married another senior on November 28, 2017. We both own principal residences for which we paid property tax in 2017. We will be selling one of our homes in 2017. Can we both apply for the 2018 OSHPTG on our 2017 returns?

No. Since you were married on December 31, 2017, only one of you can apply for the grant for both of you. As explained in the previous question, you cannot claim property tax paid on more than one principal residence at a time after you were married. However, you can claim the property tax paid on each of your residences before you were married.

32. Do I have to own my home for a minimum number of years to be eligible to receive a 2018 grant?

No. As long as property tax was paid in respect of your residence for 2017, and you lived in your principal residence on December 31, 2017, the duration of ownership is not relevant.

33. If the home is jointly owned by one senior and one non-senior, will a grant payment be provided to them?

Eligibility varies depending on age, marital status, net family income and property tax paid for your principal residence you owned and lived in on December 31, 2017.

If the senior and non-senior are spouses or common-law partners, the senior spouse could be eligible for the full grant if the couple’s net family income is below $45,000.

If the non-senior is not the spouse or common-law partner of the senior, he or she would not be eligible for the grant.  The single senior would still be eligible for the full grant if his or her income is below $35,000.  The senior's grant payment will be calculated based on the part of the property tax he or she paid.

34. If the owner of the home is not a senior, but the spouse is a senior, will a grant be provided to them?

Yes. The couple is eligible for the grant if at least one spouse or common-law partner owns (or co-owns) the principal residence. However, the spouse who was 64 years old or older on December 31, 2017, would have to apply for the grant for the couple, since he or she is the only person who meets the age eligibility criteria.

If both spouses are separated for health reasons, they can choose to be treated as if they were single. For further details, see question 10, “My spouse is a senior, and she owns our home but is living in a nursing home. I am not a senior. Are we entitled to the OSHPTG?”

35. Are seniors living in co-operative buildings eligible for the grant?

For co-operatives, individual residents will receive the grant if they had an ownership interest and can provide proof of the amount of property tax paid. They cannot include common expenses or utility charges as part of the tax.

36. I am a senior who lives in a mobile home. Am I eligible for the grant?

Seniors living in mobile homes who own their home but lease the land on which the home is situated can apply for the grant. You would do the following:

  • Determine all the amounts paid for the year by or on behalf of you or your spouse or common-law partner to the owner of the land that can reasonably be considered to have been paid to compensate the owner for property tax assessed against the land for the year.
  • Determine all amounts of property tax paid for the year by or on behalf of you or your spouse or common-law partner for the mobile home.
  • Add both amounts together. The total is your property tax paid for the year.
  • Enter this amount beside box 6112 on Form ON-BEN.
  • To apply for the grant, see question 3, "How do I apply for the 2018 OSHPTG?"

Note

If the landlord does not provide a breakdown of the property tax paid for the lot, and you do not have an assessment for the lot from the Municipal Property Assessment Corporation, you can estimate the property tax based on the fees paid to your landlord/site owner for the lot. It would be reasonable to take 20% of the fees and add that amount to any property tax paid on the mobile home.

37. I am a senior who lives in a life-lease building. Am I eligible for the grant?

Seniors who have paid a lump sum for the 'right to occupy' a life-lease building for life or a period of at least 10 years can apply for the grant. You would do the following:

  • Determine the amount of property tax paid that is reasonably applicable to the residence for the tax year.
  • This amount is your property tax paid for the year.
  • Enter this amount beside box 6112 on Form ON-BEN.
  • To apply for the grant, see question 3, "How do I apply for the 2018 OSHPTG?"

38. If my application for the grant is denied, can I appeal?

Yes. If you are denied a grant, you can file an objection. You can do this by going to My Account or by sending a completed Form T400A, Objection - Income Tax Act, or a signed letter to:

  • Chief of Appeals
  • 3rd Floor
  • Sudbury ON P3A 5C1

39. Who should I contact if I have a question about the Ontario provincial government policy on the OSHPTG?

You can call the Province of Ontario at 1-866-ONT-TAXS (1-866-668-8297) and ask for information on Ontario tax credits.

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